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Council meeting begins with moment of silence

Greenwood mayor Ed Smith began Monday’s regular council meeting with a moment of silence in memory of former councillor Nola Tutti.
Greenwood City Council meeting Jan. 11.

Greenwood mayor Ed Smith began Monday’s regular council meeting with a moment of silence in memory of former councillor Nola Tutti, who passed away Dec. 22.

Ashton/Terashita gives overview of construction

Councillor Darla Ashton, representing the Greenwood Legacy Group (GLG), along with the city’s fire chief Roy Terishita, appeared as a delegation to present an overview of the proposed firehall kitchen/patio installation on the building’s second floor. Most of the costs for the project are to be covered by the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department and the GLG and will, upon completion, result in a major facelift of that portion of the building and the freeing up of space to be used for various office spaces and other projects. To date, the department has installed some hardwood flooring and improved the quality and efficiency of the lighting.

If council approves the project, an inspection to determine the structural integrity of the building will begin the construction process. Once the building is inspected and passed, new plumbing and wiring will be installed, as well as walls, cabinets, counters and a drop ceiling to complete the kitchen, after which the patio construction will commence.

Terashita expects the budget to come in at $15-20,000, much of which is already in place, with the balance to be derived from various fundraising events beginning in the spring.

The delegation requested a response to the proposal at the Jan. 25 council meeting.

Mayor requests recording device be turned off

Also at the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Smith ordered gallery member Christopher Yates to turn off his recording device or leave council chambers, stating that Yates did not have the right to record the meeting. Yates complied with the mayor’s request.

Battery collection

Council directed staff to find a volunteer willing to initiate proper battery collection and recycling. The city recently removed a small battery recycling box from city hall, citing insurance issues. Incorrectly stored, some batteries can become a fire hazard, which prompted removal of the recycling box.

Park use approved

Council approved Board Of Trade requests for the use of Lion’s Park for Canada Day celebrations on July 1 and Founders’ Day on July 9.

Mayor’s report

Mayor Ed Smith gave a report that offered a brief review of 2015. Please see the Boundary Creek Times next week for a story on that report.

Borrowing bylaw introduced

A bylaw was introduced at a special meeting on Jan. 6 allowing council to borrow money against projected revenue to cover general expenditures. The city is currently carrying $217,531 in unpaid taxes and utilities and is looking to borrow $260,000 for 2016.

Acting CAO Wendy Higashi recommended in a Jan. 7 memo that city staff be directed to research tax collecting solutions used by other municipalities, as well as educate residents in regard to payment options available for taxes and utilities. Higashi described the various options currently available to citizens and went on to detail the monies that are owed to the city, noting that in 2015 there were over 40 properties slated for sale due to unpaid taxes.

Property owners waited until they were about to lose their homes to settle their tax bill, a situation which adds significantly to the work load of city staff.

Gallery comments

During the scheduled question period, several residents looked for clarification of tax and utility payments and requested that such information be included with their bills. It was also noted that special meetings are currently announced only by a note posted at City Hall, when it would be much more effective to announce such events via email as well. Council took both matters under consideration.